Cygwin is a linux-like environment for Windows. It can be downloaded for free from http://www.cygwin.com. More information will be given during the lecture on Tuesday, March 30th.
Alternatively, you may use SSH to log on to the TLAB machines of the CS department. CS/CIS majors should already have CS department accounts. All others should apply for a temporary class account. The application form can be found at https://www.cs.northwestern.edu/support/secure/new_account_request.php
In addition, if you have a CS department account, you may use the CS lab (TLAB) located on the first floor of 1890 Maple Ave. You will need a keycard to enter. To obtain one see the department administrator, Karen Healy Stover (firstname.lastname@example.org, 1890 Maple Ave, 3rd floor, office #314)